February 18th, 2009
10:16 AM ET

Q&A on the foreclosure plan, and what it means for you

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Questions and Answers for Borrowers about the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Borrowers Who Are Current on Their Mortgage Are Asking:

1. What help is available for borrowers who stay current on their mortgage payments but have seen their homes decrease in value?

Under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, eligible borrowers who stay current on their mortgages but have been unable to refinance to lower their interest rates because their homes have decreased in value, may now have the opportunity to refinance into a 30 or 15 year, fixed rate loan. Through the program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow the refinancing of mortgage loans that they hold in their portfolios or that they placed in mortgage backed securities.

2. I owe more than my property is worth, do I still qualify to refinance under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

Eligible loans will now include those where the new first mortgage (including any refinancing costs) will not exceed 105% of the current market value of the property. For example, if your property is worth $200,000 but you owe $210,000 or less you may qualify. The current value of your property will be determined after you apply to refinance.

3. How do I know if I am eligible?

Complete eligibility details will be announced on March 4th when the program starts. The criteria for eligibility will include having sufficient income to make the new payment and an acceptable mortgage payment history. The program is limited to loans held or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

4. I have both a first and a second mortgage. Do I still qualify to refinance under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

As long as the amount due on the first mortgage is less than 105% of the value of the property, borrowers with more than one mortgage may be eligible to refinance under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. Your eligibility will depend, in part, on agreement by the lender that has your second mortgage to remain in a second position, and on your ability to meet the new payment terms on the first mortgage.

5. Will refinancing lower my payments?

The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to provide creditworthy borrowers who have shown a commitment to paying their mortgage with affordable payments that are sustainable for the life of the loan. Borrowers whose mortgage interest rates are much higher than the current market rate should see an immediate reduction in their payments. Borrowers who are paying interest only, or who have a low introductory rate that will increase in the future, may not see their current payment go down if they refinance to a fixed rate. These borrowers, however, could save a great deal over the life of the loan. When you submit a loan application, your lender will give you a "Good Faith Estimate" that includes your new interest rate, mortgage payment and the amount that you will pay over the life of the loan. Compare this to your current loan terms. If it is not an improvement, a refinancing may not be right for you.

6. What are the interest rate and other terms of this refinance offer?

The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to provide borrowers with a safe loan program with a fixed, affordable payment. All loans refinanced under the plan will have a 30 or 15 year term with a fixed interest rate. The rate will be based on market rates in effect at the time of the refinance and any associated points and fees quoted by the lender. Interest rates may vary across lenders and over time as market rates adjust. The refinanced loans will have no prepayment penalties or balloon notes.

7. Will refinancing reduce the amount that I owe on my loan?

No. The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to help borrowers refinance into safer, more affordable fixed rate loans. Refinancing will not reduce the amount you owe to the first mortgage holder or any other debt you owe. However, by reducing the interest rate, refinancing should save you money by reducing the amount of interest that you repay over the life of the loan.

8. How do I know if my loan is owned or has been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

To determine if your loan is owned or has been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and is eligible to be refinanced, you should contact your mortgage lender after March 4, 2009.

9. When can I apply?

Mortgage lenders will begin accepting applications after the details of the program are announced on March 4, 2009.

10. What should I do in the meantime?

You should gather the information that you will need to provide to your lender after March 4, when the refinance program becomes available. This includes:

· information about the gross monthly income of all borrowers, including your most recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources

· your most recent income tax return

· information about any second mortgage on the house

· payments on each of your credit cards if you are carrying balances from month to month, and

· payments on other loans such as student loans and car loans.

Borrowers Who Are at Risk of Foreclosure Are Asking:

1. What help is available for borrowers who are at risk of foreclosure either because they are behind on their mortgage or are struggling to make the payments?

The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan offers help to borrowers who are already behind on their mortgage payments or who are struggling to keep their loans current. By providing mortgage lenders with financial incentives to modify existing first mortgages, the Treasury hopes to help as many as 3 to 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure regardless of who owns or services the mortgage.

2. Do I need to be behind on my mortgage payments to be eligible for a modification?

No. Borrowers who are struggling to stay current on their mortgage payments may be eligible if their income is not sufficient to continue to make their mortgage payments and they are at risk of imminent default. This may be due to several factors, such as a loss of income, a significant increase in expenses, or an interest rate that will reset to an unaffordable level.

3. How do I know if I qualify for a payment reduction under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

In general, you may qualify for a mortgage modification if (a) you occupy your house as your primary residence; (b) your monthly mortgage payment is greater than 31% of your monthly gross income; and (c) your loan is not large enough to exceed current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits. Final eligibility will be determined by your mortgage lender based on your financial situation and detailed guidelines that will be available on March 4, 2009.

4. I do not live in the house that secures the mortgage I'd like to modify. Is this mortgage eligible for the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

No. For example, if you own a house that you use as a vacation home or that you rent out to tenants, the mortgage on that house is not eligible. If you used to live in the home but you moved out, the mortgage is not eligible. Only the mortgage on your primary residence is eligible. The mortgage lender will check to see if the dwelling is your primary residence.

5. I have a mortgage on a duplex. I live in one unit and rent the other. Will I still be eligible?

Yes. Mortgages on 2, 3 and 4 unit properties are eligible as long as you live in one unit as your primary residence.

6. I have two mortgages. Will the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan reduce the payments on both?

Only the first mortgage is eligible for a modification.

7. I owe more than my house is worth. Will the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan reduce what I owe?

The primary objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to help borrowers avoid foreclosure by modifying troubled loans to achieve a payment the borrower can afford. Lenders are likely to lower payments mainly by reducing loan interest rates. However, the program offers incentives for principal reductions and at your lender's discretion modifications may include upfront reductions of loan principal.

8. I heard the government was providing a financial incentive to borrowers. Is that true?

Yes. To encourage borrowers who work hard to retain homeownership, the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan provides incentive payments as a borrower makes timely payments on the modified loan. The incentive will accrue on a monthly basis and will be applied directly to reduce your mortgage debt. Borrowers who pay on time for five years can have up to $5,000 applied to reduce their debt by the end of that period.

9. How much will a modification cost me?

There is no cost to borrowers for a modification under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. If you wish to get assistance from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency or are referred to a counselor as a condition of the modification, you will not be charged a fee. Borrowers should beware of any organization that attempts to charge a fee for housing counseling or modification of a delinquent loan, especially if they require a fee in advance.

10. Is my lender required to modify my loan?

No. Mortgage lenders participate in the program on a voluntary basis and loans are evaluated for modification on a case-by-case basis. But the government is offering substantial incentives and it is expected that most major lenders will participate.

11. I'm already working with my lender / housing counselor on a loan workout. Can I still be considered for the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

Ask your lender or counselor to be considered under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan.

12. How do I apply for a modification under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

You may not need to do anything at this time. Most mortgage lenders will evaluate loans in their portfolio to identify borrowers who may meet the eligibility criteria. After March 4 they will send letters to potentially eligible homeowners, a process that may take several weeks. If you think you qualify for a modification and do not receive a letter within several weeks, contact your mortgage servicer or a HUD-approved housing counselor. Please be aware that servicers and counseling agencies are expected to receive an extraordinary number of calls about this program.

13. What should I do in the meantime?

You should gather the information that you will need to provide to your lender on or after March 4, when the modification program becomes available. This includes

· information about the monthly gross income of your household including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources

· your most recent income tax return

· information about any second mortgage on the house

· payments on each of your credit cards if you are carrying balances from month to month, and

· payments on other loans such as student loans and car loans.

14. My loan is scheduled for foreclosure soon. What should I do?

Contact your mortgage servicer or credit counselor. Many mortgage lenders have expressed their intention to postpone foreclosure sales on all mortgages that may qualify for the modification in order to allow sufficient time to evaluate the borrower's eligibility. We support this effort.

Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Housing Market • Raw Politics
soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Renters are asking...

    What do we get because we were smart enough not to buy into a loan with high interest or when the market was at the top of its bubble?

    February 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  2. Jay

    I think the plan should only help people who have lost a job in the last six months and are looking for work. But why should we help someone who made a bad financial decision? They need to learn a life lesson.

    Anyone who voted for Obama and pays their bills on time bend over and grab your ankles. No joke. This is the freaking "CHANGE" you were voting for.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  3. Mistelle Okada

    I'm furious! No one helped us when we lost our house because it was worth HALF of what we paid for it! We've lost $200,000 plus and there was NO help for us. So now our hard earned tax dollars are going to help out other people. I"M FURIOUS! This will help NO ONE. How many people are only underwater by only 5%? This is insanity! We should all stop paying taxes until we have control over how they are used.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  4. Sick and Tired

    I am so tired of everyone begging for a bailout. For all of you asking what kind of help is out there for you, why not try helping yourself by getting a second or third job if necessary and practicing a little self reliance. Or how about this....quit trying to have it all now. You may have to rent for awhile, or live in a smaller house that you can actually afford. Nobody owes you anything! Being responsible is liberating.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  5. Laura

    Whatever happened to not spending more than you could afford? Being raised by Depression aged parents, I was taught that if you haven't got the cash, you do without. For those folks who bought into the entitlement theory of deserving the so-called "American Dream", owning your own home is a privilege not a right. If you are struggling to make ends meet, you probably shouldn't be a home owner. I can't understand why more people didn't ask themselves, "Will I be able to afford this if I loose my job?" Guess what? It could happen, and unfortunately, it did. Life struggles make us stronger, and we are loosing the greatest generation who learned that first hand. These new generations of spoiled, winey brats have their "wants" confused with their "needs"! Wake up America, there is a new sheriff in town.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  6. Mike Farrar

    How to solve Mortgage,Auto, and Economy.
    Dont pay off, but just "0", out everyone who owes a mortgage.
    Doesnt cost government anything. Solves foreclosures.
    People will have 1000+ to spend. Probably on autos. Solves
    Auto problem. And they will be spending money else where.
    plus for the economy.
    Probably put a 500K or 1 Million cap on mortgage balances.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  7. DS

    So the plan is:
    the irresponsible people who bought houses over their means get a bailout & $5K reward after 5 years. But as a responsible person who only buys what I can afford, gets zilch & have to pay for their bailout & extra $5K reward (for on time payments).

    February 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  8. Tel

    "Eligible loans will now include those where the new first mortgage (including any refinancing costs) will not exceed 105% of the current market value of the property. For example, if your property is worth $200,000 but you owe $210,000 or less you may qualify. The current value of your property will be determined after you apply to refinance."

    ... exactly who are these people, whose home values have only decreased by 5% or less? Even with a traditional loan, most of the first few years are occupied with paying down interest. (That's why the mortgage interest deduction is such a good deal for new homeowners). I took out a $350k loan (30 year fixed, 6%) on my own house last year, and so far it's lost about $50,000 market value. At my current amoritzation schedule, I won't have it down to owing 105% of the value until about 4 years from now (assuming the value stays around as low as it is now).

    February 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Dawn

    What about those of us who did not live above our means and only purchased what we could afford- why are we getting the short end of this stick? I have a mortgage and I pay it each month, on time. I did not go out and purchase the 4000 square foot home I wanted because we could not afford it. Now my family is one of the millions that are getting screwed by this new plan. I deserve a break in my mortgage because I did the right thing. Instead I am going to have to pick up the slack for the millions out there who did not do the right thing and are getting helped. Sure does not seem fair.

    Maybe I should just call my mortgage company and tell them I am going to stop making my mortgage payments until they start foreclosure and then they will help me by lowering the payment and the interest rate. I think I deserve a better rate because I am making the required payments- don't you?????

    February 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  10. Monica

    You know, how selfish can we be? I talked to someone the other day that said thet he believed that all this talk about our country being in a recession is media hype! Thats because he if od the very few that has not noticed an effect on his own life. We are military, and my husband works hard to serve his country and I stand beside him and serve in any way I can as a true partriot who loves her country. And yes to all of you, I'm about the same skin tone as Michelle Obama and have experienced many of the same things. Nonetheless, to all of you that thonk that you have all the answers and can sit up on a high horese. You sound like the guy I met in the store. Until it really comes down your street, you have no idea what your fello Americans are going through. How dare you have the audacity to sit there and ridicule others. Rather they came to this through life circumstance or bad decision, as if you have not made any.

    You know people in other countries acan read these types of posts and it worsens what they think about US.

    I am upset about the ones of you that were adults for the last 30 years, riding high, knowing that we never really completely recovered from the recesion of the 80's and have shunned off other times after that our economy recessed. You talk about the deficit we are getting into now trying to get of this mess and leaving it for our children to repay. What about those of us who were norn in the late 70's or later that you have left us to deal with this mess right now as we try to won homes, have a long lasting career and raise our families so that hopefully we they can do the same. To all of you with these belittleing and unpatriotic, uncaring, selfish comments...THANK UPI for this mess. I owe it all to you! I shall never forget it.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  11. Jason

    I can't say that I am shedding a tear over anyone who is in foreclosure. If you bought a house that you cannot afford, that is your problem, not mine. If you got suckered into signing a loan with interest only payments or a low rate for 2 years that balooned or anything along those lines, you are a sucker, and bit off more than you can chew. Yes, banks are to blame somewhat. But now my hard earned money is going to bail all of you out... and I am a renter. I am saving to buy a home responsibly, with the adequate down payment, and will not be having my hand out for help. In my opinion, save the TRILLION dollars. This is not going to solve anything, just put the country, as a whole, in further debt. What did the first stimulus do? NADA. So what is this one going to do... well that has yet to be seen, but my guess is that we will not get any kind of ROI on it. Like someone else said, I am tired of paying for other's mistakes over and over. Let the economy fall on its face. People will learn, and not by being bailed out.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  12. R Bewley

    I feel sorry for those that have lost jobs or income. But I bought a house within my means and have paid for it. Many are living in houses they knew they couldn't afford, and I am now paying for it. Where's my bail out????!!!!

    February 18, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  13. Glenn

    It is not the fault of the homeowners entirely that they are in over there head. Lenders should not have approved there loan if they could not afford the home. I am against ARM's because the low adjustable rate gives the buyer the perception he can afford the house. The result is people who really could not afford a home bought a home.

    Is the reason for this fiasco entirely the fault of people making a choice because they thought they could afford a home. Each should be looked at on a case by case basis. Those who deserve help are those who were deceived into thinking they were qualified to own a the home and are willing to work hard to keep there mortgage. How do we determine those homeowners facing foreclosure who were truly deceived by their lender?

    February 18, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  14. Kari

    I'm just tired of all this housing bubble. I too, am trying to work Chase Mortgage and to no avail!!! Why work paying my house pymt, forebearance for a year and then asking me to sign a loan modification without even talking with me first about size of pymt, my income and monthly bills????? Just sending the packet to my door on a Sat. and stated in the letter, please sign and send back in 3 DAYS...it takes longer to be foreclosed on versus what Chase did on my loan modification!
    If I was Jamie, CEO I would think twice about your customers/clients. I know many people who have been with Washington Mutual Bank and now Since JP Morgan Chase has taken over, more depositers are pulling their money out of Chase because of the shoddy practices of their mortgages....Com'on JAMIE – YOU CAN DO BETTER FOR THIS BANKING INDUSTRY, YOUR EMPLOYEES AND CLIENTS... You give up some of your monies!!!!
    signed, Fed Up In Texas!

    February 18, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  15. oween

    Many of us voted a few months ago for hope and change...We are all now looking for signs that will be the case...maybe too soon to tell but at first glance the stimulus and this HSAP appears eerily like past gov't brute force approaches to problem solving...throw money (our money, our children's money, probably their children's money) at the banks, the auto industry, the states, and now homebuyers who have not demonstrated the ability and/or responsibility to manage their own affairs. I was bothered a little by the "take from the rich and give to the poor" narrative during the campaign...I'm much more bothered by the "take from the responsible and give to the irresponsible" policies they are now enacting...I want to be a good citizen and do my part, but I need to know that it will accomplish something positive. This plan does not appear to be heading toward that end.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  16. David S

    Thanks, President Obama. You have been in office less than a month, and you are already WELL on your way to turning us into a socialist country.

    For all of you hope and changers – enjoy this. I have paid all my bills, stayed current on loans, lived in my means, TAKEN PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, and paid my taxes – something Obama's friends don't do, in order for those who drive BRAND NEW CARS, own a house way out of their means, and spend – spend – spend to get a little help – because life is not fair.

    What a crock. For those of you who think this is good, WAIT UNTIL WE START PAYING ALL THIS BACK.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  17. Gage

    "The deal is this must be mandatory. Banks like GMAC, Chase and others need to be forced to solve the problem they created in the first place. The feds need to force the issue because they also failed to stop the problem in the first place"

    This is too funny. Please go into detail about how the banks and banks alone created this crisis. Please educate yourself before posting in public. You help spread mis-information.

    I have a question for all those people who lost their jobs. I feel horrible for each and every one of you. However if you lost your job and no longer can offord your home, why do you have the right to keep it? YOu don't. You take the hit and rebuild. No one is guarenteed a home and nor should they be. You took a risk and lost. If you made 60K a year and now make 25K , find a place to live that siuts your budget. People have been doing for years. Do not look to someone else to solve your problems.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  18. sjf

    'The program is limited to loans held or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac'

    February 18, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  19. Andie

    How about getting rid of the illegal "for profit" credit reporting industry that is in cahoots with the illegal "greedy" banking industry? What happened to the 54% profit margin the banks made on the credit cards? Did they blow that too or are they hoarding it?

    February 18, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  20. Konoth

    The best you can say for this program is that it is pretty limited. Most of the homes that were purchased with sub-prime mortgages and even many conventional loans will not qualify within the 105% requirement. The math: bought house for $300k, borrowed 90% or $270k, house value has dropped 20% to $240k, so $270k debt is more than 105% of current value ($252k), so does not qualify. How many markets have not fallen 20%? Close, but still does not qualify if market value has dropped only 15%. Houses bought with 95-100% financing very unlikely to qualify. So seems the program is designed to help the folks who played by the rules, put down 20%, didn't buy at wildly inflated price, and still have a chance to hang on to the house. I support the stimulus spending, but the government cannot set the price of housing, and certainly not with $75B. This program may have a small effect, but ultimately the market will find its own level. I fear this program will only delay the inevitable and have the unfortunate result of undermining a society of personal responsibility. There are plenty of people ready and able to commit my cash and credit to purchase properties at a price that can be supported by rental rates, but both banks and owners will now hold out hoping the government will save them from the consequences of their actions. The problem is housing prices became inflated by speculation and purchased with debt. The most we can hope for the Obama program is that it softens the re-adjustment a little and prevents some generally responsible folks the financial and personal trauma of losing their home.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  21. Jerry

    Just who is this plan supposed to help? Those who are only 5% underwater AND and have a Fannie or Freddie mortgage? Anybody in that situation should be praising the Lord for their good fortune. Those who don't really need help get a cheaper mortgage and the mortgage companies make thousands on each re-fi. Responsible people who have been hit hard get nothing. This is not change anybody can believe in.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  22. Jeannie Brock

    If we choose to refinance, will we be charged any closing costs?

    February 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  23. Mr. Epiphany

    Wow, all these years I've been wrong!

    It turns out that living responsibly, not spending money you don't
    have and paying your debts is NOT the way you should live.

    This is great! I can buy that super-expensive home, and use
    my new BMW to pick up that 60" high-def TV that I liked- just
    'cause I WANT it!

    I wish I'd realized that the "American Way" meant "don't worry,
    you're ENTITLED to every whim your heart desires" a long
    time ago. Now I feel like a fool for being responsible. It
    sickens me to realize all the money I've wasted by actually
    paying my debts...

    February 18, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  24. Andy

    For those who continue to whine about being "taxed" for being responsible, wake-up. This recession is indiscriminate on who it takes down. There are many people who played it straight, saved, planned, and through no fault of their own are now unemployed. If you feel safe now and chose to do nothing but whine about helping others then guaranteed you will be next.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  25. Paula

    My husband and I are also in danger of going into foreclosure. We did not purchase a home we could not afford; we are victims of outrageous increases in county property taxes where we live and the fact my husband lost his job which was grossing $75,000 per year. That hurt. Our property taxes were a couple of thousand dollars in 2005; $4500 in 2006; $9000 in 2007. Each time the taxes were paid from our escrow account which put us in a negative situation. The mortgage payments increased to cover the deficit and the increase to pay the next year's taxes. We started out with a decent principal and interest payment. The escrow killed us more and more each year. We've not been able to make a payment since 08/01/08 because the mortgage company won't take partial payments....all or nothing.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  26. Chris L.

    If anyone voted for Obama then your getting what you wanted and I dont want to hear a word from you. What did you expect from a Democrat? This is their mantra take from those who have and give to those who either don't have or who live beyond their means.
    I pay my bills and taxes on time and not once have I gone to the government for assistance and then I see my hard earned dollars go to all these socialist programs because of stupidity and laziness. I have tried to refinance my home from 6.25 and never missed a home payment but noooo I cant refinance! WHY? Oh wait, all my credit cards are maxed out because of the gas prices that went over $4 a gallon sucking up any residual income I had. Now I am behind in my credit card payments. CAN I GET A BAIL OUT?

    You know what, for all of us who live within our means and pay our bills on time, HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH, because we didn't take money from those who earned it to pay the bills others brought upon themselves by making dumb choices.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  27. Eric

    The public outcry over this plan is considerable. I suspect the Dems will lose their majority in Congress in 2010 if they continue with these wealth transfer programs.

    Keep your eyes on your 401(k) plans - they'll try to take that from you as well and they'll tell you it's for your own protection.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  28. danno

    How does Obama's housing plan effect VA loans? When we got our loan we could afford it. Unfortunately my husband lost his job and our income has gone down 100,000 dollars. We have made all our payments on time and have been responsible. Is there help for us?

    February 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  29. Laura

    My husband had worked in the construction industry for 20 years, lost his job in October 2008. He found another as a janitor making half of his previous pay. We are behind on our mortgage and Chase has been very helpful and kind in processing a modification of our mortgage. Our Chase branch told us that because we have only been late on our mortgage once in 12 years they are more than happy to work with us and help us keep our home.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  30. Rob

    The headline quote from Obama says "We're all paying for the home mortgage crisis". To the contrary – those of us living within our means and paying or own way WEREN'T paying for the home mortgage crisis until His Irresponsibleness robbed the taxpayer's pocketbook to do so!

    February 18, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  31. Lisa

    As a mortgage Loan Officer, I think it needs to be said and reminded to eveyone, this isn't just simply a problem of people buying more than they could afford. A lot of this came from poor judment on home buyers, on real estate agents, loan officers, appraisers, banks offering the programs that have us in this mess, etc..... And, we're not the only country facing this problem right now. There's a little bit of blame to go out to dozens of groups of people. Part of it is ALSO lack of regulation in the past, which is why everyone in mortgage underwriting are absolutely back to the basics, verify and document everything, which is as it should have been the whole time. To do nothing doesn't fix the problem. If it's not done, whether it's your fault or not, then your home price could be affected as well. And the cash being used isn't coming out of your paycheck, it's deferred. There is a cost to this yes, but it's not a direct impact on your livelihood RIGHT THIS SECOND. So calm down, back off and let's all stop being so selfish and petty, and let's all try to get our country back on track. Because if we don't, if we don't at least try, then the path we're on doesn't change, it only gets worse. After looking at your 401k, how much more inspiration do YOU need to be supportive of change?

    February 18, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  32. amc

    Jean, you have no right to criticize the people who feel they are being unfairly singled out to pay for the problems of others. How dare you say they should quit gripppppping and complainnnning. Don't you see how unfair it is? Its robbery on the part of the government. I HATE IT and I will fight it in any way I can!

    February 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  33. cali girl

    What about people that don't have mortgages with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? Last time I checked, there are people that are in foreclosure or struggling to stay current that use other banks. What assistance will they get?

    February 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  34. Rick

    thank you for having a concise and to the point piece on this new mortgage legislation. it has been very difficult to get real answers as this thing has developed. looks like there might be some help on the way...and by the way i am just as responsible as the constant complainers. Unfortunately, i have been forced to take a job paying half of what i was earning. that's a crisis for anyone. Like my beloved country, i will bounce back though.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  35. cookie


    Try http://www.sra.com this is a good company, and they may have positions available in your field. you didn't say where you were located, but they are American based with offices and opportunities all over the country and world.

    sad to read about your situation...it will get better. Just hang in there and believe.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  36. anon

    I would like to know how would this bill help people who have already lost their homes to foreclosure. Their are so many young people who have fell into bad financial situations and not know the circumstances. Those same young people know better know and are trying to get better credit and credit scores. These same people want to buy a home, but credit score may not be quite there. Will the bill help them?

    February 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  37. Steve Langa

    What about people who like me, have never missed a payment did not buy more home than he could afford and now want to sell 10 after my purchase I will be LUCKY if I get to just walk away even let alone make anything on my investment.

    My property taxes appear to have not lost any value at all.

    I will not pay someone to buy my home.

    America is the land of opportunity if you are a CEO.
    You can stear your company into an iceberg and there will be a "golden" lifeboat with room for one.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  38. TomServo

    It’s clear – veterans are not welcome at the trough. Obama's real agenda is clearly evident.

    Why aren't VA loans in good standing eligible??

    USAF Retired

    February 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  39. crazyfool

    We were "created equal". After that, you're on your own.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  40. alan

    Welcome to the world of the post-housing bubble … many people are understandably mad, but I did not see any mad people when they were pulling out money from the liquidity of their homes or moving from place to place and cashing out big fat checks, wasn't being a real state agent the hottest profession 5 yrs ago? That is right, people who's only talent was knowing how to fill paperwork and circumvent rules where making more than doctors and working professionals … it was all a lie, ficticious wealth, and now we are seeing the consequences … as a young working professional, all this time I was left out of the housing market, despite having an advanced engineering degree and working as a rocket scientist (which probably pays less than a UAW worker) … I am still living in my 1 bedroom apartment, no fancy cars, no high style living, leaving within my means … what do I get? I get to pay for all the rest of you! At least I am glad the bubble has bursted and we are starting the healing process

    February 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm |

    I was reading all these comments and was very upset with most of them.I am a Home owner as well.Pay my bills and mortgage on time.That is because I have a JOB.Most of the people who are home owners do not intend to default.The circumstances force them to do so.God forbid if something happens to the people who claim that they do not support bailout for forecloser homes because the owners are irr-responssible..they are full of it.Let me be clear on that this happens when people lose jobs,fatel illnesses ect..ect.they also paid taxes all their life.Please be more responsible in your comments which effects other people who are going through hard times.God Bless America.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  42. nam

    I am sick of bailing out banks, car manufacturers and F buyers.
    I'd love to be able to refuse paying this bail out with my taxes unless the buyers put 20% downpayment, got a loan no more of 3x single (no combined) annual income, had good credit history and 6 months expenses saved in the bank. To all the rest, you couldn't afford the house you bought, you shouldn't be living there and keeping houses unaffordable for the next generations. Move on and rent until you can really afford a house.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  43. Grapevine, TX


    Some of us DID plan on losing our jobs and had substantial savings. But again, the money does eventually run out and when you cannot even find a low paying job, what do you do? Hopefully you will not be placed in the situation to be "immoral and criminal". Name calling does not solve anything.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  44. Mac, Houston

    Every American deserves a home. It's time for the taxpayers to step up and make this happen. This is America where everyone is suppose to be equal.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  45. Jimmy, Montana

    Dear Mr. President. I Will stand shoulder to shoulder with you. You sir have proven to me that you are walking the walk. I have my own bus. and they won' sell us health insuance because my wife has lupus. You sir have energized us in away they gets us up in the morning to work hard for a better day. Thankyou Sir. I will do my part .

    Jimmy Roth

    February 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  46. ?

    This bailout will not address the root of the problem which started this mess, that is, it will only encourage more people to live beyond their means. What is the incentive to do the right thing anymore when you know and expect the government to bail you out? True there are some responsible people that were caught by surprise by how quickly and how personal the downturn of the economy has affected them, but this has been happening throughout the history of this country. The worse part of this is, when the economy does recover (and it will recover) those who benefit from this handout will not be taxed or require to reimburse any benefit received. They will never pay more taxes than those who did not benefit from this program. For those who will not benefit from this (non-homeowners, and unaffected homeowners), the administration’s arbitrary pen just doesn’t think you worthy of any assistance, besides you will probably be considered a wealthy dissident that aims only to disrupt the new society if you voice any opposition to the administration’s wishes.

    People used to make decisions and accepted the responsibilities that came with them. This just shows that self reliance is a concept completely gone from our society. Some people say that the administration has strong socialist tendencies, this is not socialism, socialism is for all not, a select few. The pendulum just swung the other way and for a majority of the populace, we just get to pay for everyone else’s mistakes. Go tell your kids to be all that they can be, and if they can’t make it, live like it anyway because they will not be responsible for their actions.

    Hopefully you remember this when the next election comes around. The administration does not work for the entire country only for those who have and who they are expecting to keep them in power. God bless America (for only those that believe), because we sure do need it.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  47. DIRTY


    February 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  48. Robert

    My Lender already modify our loan, but the monthly payment stil too high about 75% of our monthly income. We asked for another modification but they said they cannot do second modification anymore. is this means we are stuck not getting help a all?

    February 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  49. Sick

    I'm just sick of the complaining.

    We have worked hard, bought a house, paid the house off and now my husband has lost his second job in 2 years. We aren't getting any help from the government.

    I agree with many of the comments. Why did we work hard and live within our means, when we could have had so much more by not paying our mortgage off and just waited for the government to help us. I do not believe that there are that many stupid people that live in America that do understand what an adjustable rate mortgage is.

    The best part of all of this is that we get to pay for other people's lack of responsablity. Maybe I should quit my job and sell the house so that I do not have to pay the taxes. And then the government could help us also.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  50. James- San Diego


    February 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
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